I always advise my college students of one critical thing-- and many art schools don't get into this-- BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE.
What does that mean? It means the days of walking your portfolio to an editor or art director are over-- these thoughts confirmed by a discussion I had with Boston Dig Art Director/ Design Guru Tak Toyashima who is a good pal of mine-- he said he was sick and tired of new artists coming up to him asking them to look at their work but when he asks for a site that he can look at they have nothing.
Recently I dumped my old site and replaced it with www.andytfish.com -- something I thought was a good idea-- and I built a kind of decent little site using WIX but I hated the FREE WIX info at the bottom (since I didn't want to pay for additional hosting) so I switched my MAIN page over to this here blog with just a simple PORTFOLIO link right up there in the top left corner.
Seemed sensible to me.
Okay, so I'm at a pretty big event a few days ago and I see the Publisher of a Major company walk by-- having worked for said company in the past I figured I'd accost him about a project I've had stalled with them for some time-- it went like this (the names have been changed to protect the innocent):
"Hey Carmine! Have you got a minute?"
Carmine stops and looks at me for a second. "What is it kid?"
"I'm Andy Fish, I've done work with your company prior to you taking over and I wanted to talk to you about trying to get a project which stalled between editorial changes back on the books."
He's clearly impressed to meet me.
"Andy Fish--I've done a lot of work for your company in the past, and I've since been freelancing for some other companies but I'd like to--"
"You an artist or a writer?"
"Well, I'm both, but---"
"You got a card on you?"
I fumble in my pockets-- I gave out my last card an hour ago-- and the refill I have is in my car about five blocks away. "Um...."
"No problem-- you got a table here? I've got a minute, let me look at your work."
"Um, I don't have any work here-- I'm actually covering the table for Emerson College to promote the classes there."
He stares at me for a minute. If I could leave my body I would stare at me too. Then I realize I'm holding my iPad in my hand-- which has internet access which will take me to my portfolio site-- so I pull it up.
And it goes to my blog-- and standing there in the middle of the busy floor without my glasses I can't read the little word PORTFOLIO on the small screen.
It didn't end as badly as it could of-- but needless to say the next morning at 6am I was up rectifying the situation.